Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2019 Issue

Fine Illustrated Books [and] Captain Cook: An Anniversary Catalogue from Shapero Rare Books

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Two catalogues from Shapero Rare Books were received this month at Rare Book Hub—Fine Illustrated Booksand Captain Cook: An Anniversary Catalogue—and they are both impressive for different reasons. Fine Illustrated Books demonstrates the vastness of the field, with maps, natural history, art, and Hebrew material some of the representatives. In an era where visual works are highly sought after, there is something appealing for the serious collector of many different individual subjects contained within. Captain Cook, on the other hand, reflects the opposite side of the collecting spectrum: an intense focus on a singular subject. Even with this sort of focus, it’s not just books that can make up a collection, and this catalogue offers a fair amount of prints, several medals and portrait medallions, and a painting as well.

 

Fine Illustrated Books features 50 lots, with asking prices beginning at £9,500 and topping out at £300,000. This is serious material consistent with what the field has come to expect from the firm. So, you might be wondering what the £300,000 item is. Item #12 is Maxime du Camp’s Vues on Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie. Dessins photograhiques recueillis pendant les annees 1849, 1850, et 1851, accompagnés d’un texte explicative et précédés d’une introduction par Maxime Du Camp, chargé d’une mission archéologique en Orient par le ministère. The work is described as “a landmark in the history of the photobook, illustrated with 125 salt prints. This famous volume is renowned for its stark images, a radical departure from the Romantic model.” Two full-page examples of the photographs (and another occupying half a page) are included in the catalogue, and they are striking to say the least.

Natural history is a particularly strong part of the catalogue. Daniel Giraud Elliot’s The new and heretofore unfigured species of the birds of North Americawas said to be intended as a supplement to both the works of John Audubon and Alexander Wilson, and with its 73 hand-colored lithographs of birds not included in either of their publications, it certainly seems to make sense as such. You can find it as item #14 with an asking price of £27,500. Several items later we see the work that boasts the catalogue’s cover art: John Gould’s The Mammals of Australia. First edition sets (here offered in three volumes) of Mammalsare rare, in no small part because it was issued in thirteen parts over no less than eighteen years (1845 to 1863). The effort of collecting such a work, which additionally serves as visual evidence of many species now extinct, does not come with small cost: asking £150,000. Further offerings include Jean-Louis Prevost’s Collection des fleurs et des fruits peints d’apres nature (item #38, £75,000), Henry Sander’s Reichenbachie. Orchids illustrated and described (item #41, £37,500), Richard Bowdler Sharpe’s Monograph of the paradiseidae or the birds of paradise and ptilnorhynchidae or bower-birds (item #43, £42,500), and Robert John Thornton’s New illustration of the sexual system of Carolus von Lannaeus comprehending… the temple of glora, or garden of nature(item #47, £125,000). It’s a strong assemblage indeed.

One item of personal interest to me, with family from Taiwan and having lived there for a time myself, is the last item in the catalogue. This is the Pingding Taiwan deshung tu [Victorious Battle Prints of the Taiwan Campaign.] Comprising twelve prints depicting the Qing dynasty’s Taiwan campaigns against bandits and Ming loyalists between 1787 and 1788. This set is quite rare and is notable for its vivid depictions of both seascapes and naval battles. In a catalogue made up mostly of western material (though there are several items related to India), this Taiwan item makes up for a nice wrap up to the catalogue.

 

It’s been 250 years since Captain Cook departed on the HMS Endeavour for Australia and New Zealand, and to commemorate the anniversary, Shapero Rare books has released the catalogue Captain Cook: An Anniversary Catalogue. It contains 88 various items, though, as one would expect, the majority are books—63 of 88. Asking prices for books range from £350 to £150,000, while the rest of the catalogue, dubbed “pictorial items,” begin at £150 and max out at £45,000. And while Fine Illustrated Books is organized alphabetically by author, Cookillustrates a key strength of focused collecting: a chronological ordering of items that together tell the story of one history’s most famous mariners.

The material amassed for sale here is varied enough that there are entry points for both new and established collectors with a range of collecting budgets. For example, several editions of James Magra’s A Journal of a Voyage round the World in His Majesty’s Ship Endeavour in the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, and 1771 are offered. Magra’s account is the first detailing Cook’s first circumnavigation, and also contains the first printed account of the east coast of Australia. Item #3, the rare first issue of the first edition, carries an asking price of £37,500, while items #6 and #7, the first Irish and French editions respectively, are both priced at £2,250.

The item with the highest asking price is a book, but surprisingly, it’s not the pages of the book that make it valuable. Alexander Shaw’s [A Catalogue of the Different Specimens of Cloth Collected in the three Voyages of Captain Cook] contains several full-sized samples of cloth and smaller, more common “snippets” (39 samples of tapa cloth total). Evidently artifacts from Cook’s voyages themselves carry a premium, and this work is very rare. Of 66 known copies, 57 are in institutions, 6 in private hands, and 3 copies unknown. Additionally, no two copies are identical. As item #41, Shaw’s Clothis priced at £150,000.

  

Both Fine Illustrated Books and Captain Cookare high quality catalogues with the material to back up the presentation. Fine Illustrated Books is accessible online here, and Captain Cook is viewable online here. Shapero Rare Books’ store is located in London at 32 St George St, Mayfair. You can get in touch via telephone at +44 (0)20 7493 0876 or through email: rarebooks@shapero.com.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Koller Auctions: Books & Autographs. March 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Jacques Gamelin. <i>Nouveau recueil d'osteologie et de myologie, dessine d'apres nature...</i> 2 parts in 1 vol., large folio, 82 copper plates. CHF 12,000 to 18,000
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Melchior Pfintzing. <i>Die geverlicheiten und einsteils geschichten des loblichen streytparen...</i> 118 woodcut engravings, first edition. CHF 30,000 to 50,000
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Book of hours. Handwritten Latin text on vellum. With 17 large miniatures, Flanders, c.1460. CHF 70,000 to 90,000
    <b>Koller Auctions, Mar 26:</b> Maria Sibylla Merian. <i> Dissertatio de generatione et metamorphosibus insectorum Surinamensium,</i> 72 copper plates, Den Haag, 1726. CHF 60,000 to 90,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Princess Diana, group of 6 ALS to the editor of British Vogue, 1989-92. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing with news after pledging support to King George III against the American rebels, 1776. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Ulysses S. Grant, photograph dated & signed as President, portrait by Brady, 1875. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Alexander Graham Bell, ALS, accepting an invitation to tea during his only trip to Japan, 1898. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Nikola Tesla, signature & date on his monogrammed correspondence card, 1935. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Richard Wagner, ALS, concerning his opera Rienzi, 1869. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, autograph note signed, requesting the address of Yvette Guilbert, 1895. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Claude Monet, ALS, to painter Harry Lachman, complaining that his vision has not improved, 1920s. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Friedrich Hölderlin, autograph manuscript, unsigned, 7 lines quoting Michael Denis's <i>Ossians und Sineds Lieder.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Guestbook for Lüchow's restaurant, over 400 signatures, including W.H. Auden, Grace Kelly & drawings by Charles Addams, NYC, 1950-56. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> George Washington, lottery ticket, signed, 1768. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 21:</b> Vaslav Nijinsky, postcard dated & signed, showing a drawing of him in <i>Schéhérazade,</i> 1916. $2,500 to $3,500.
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Greco (Gioachino). <i>Primo modo del gioco de Partito…</i> Manuscript, France, 1624 or 1625. A collection of partiti, or 'chess problems' by one of the most important figures in the history of chess. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Herodotus. <i>Historiae,</i> translated into Latin by Lorenzo Valla and edited by Antonio Mancinelli. Venice, 1494. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Darwin (Charles). Autograph Letter signed to his cousin Reginald Darwin, Down, Beckenham, Kent, 27th March 1879. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Nicolay (Nicolas de). <i>The Navigations, peregrinations and voyages, made into Turkie,</i> first edition in English, Imprinted at London by Thomas Dawson, 1585. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Saint-Exupéry (Antoine de). <i>The Little Prince,</i> number 66 of 525 copies signed by the author, 1943. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Catlin (George, 1796-1872). Tuch-ee, A Celebrated War Chief of the Cherokees, watercolour, [circa 1834]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Genetics.- A collection of c.300 pamphlets on genetics comprising many of the major contributions from the first half of the 20th century. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> India.- Rajasthan.- Kota School (probably late 18th c.). Elephant in a landscape with chains around his feet, brush and black ink with opaque pigments. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Commelin (Caspar). <i>Horti medici Amstelaedamensis plantae rariores et exoticae,</i> first edition, 48 finely hand-coloured engraved plates, Leiden, F.Haringh, 1706. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Plague-water and cookery & medical recipes.- Jackson (Mrs Sarah). Medical and cookery recipes, manuscript in several hands, title and 134pp., 1688-1755. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Vernet (<i>After</i> Joseph, 1714-1789). <i>[Vues des ports de France],</i> sixteen plates (of 18), etchings and engravings by Charles Nicolas Cochin fils and Jacques Philippe Le Bas, [c.1760-1780]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar 28:</b> Detmold (Edward Julius, 1883-1957). Parrots and Butterflies, watercolour. £2,500 to £3,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000

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